Worx WG774 Review
Pros: Fantastic folding mechanism, long-lasting battery, rapid recharge time
Cons: Lacks self-propulsion, below average cutting deck width, stiff bail
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Our Analysis and Test Results
What sets the Worx WG774 apart from the rest of the class of cordless lawn mowers is that it's just the right amount of mower for most applications without having to go all in on lawn management. The mower is light, easy to fold-up, takes up very little space in the garage, and is still proficient at cutting grass. This mower is there when you need it and essentially goes unnoticed when you don't. Add to this benefit a general ease of use and long battery life, and it's no wonder why this mower received a nod from the testers.
There's no point in reviewing lawn mowers if the main focus of that review isn't on how well these machines perform the task for which they are designed. As such, we developed a set of mowing performance tests and assessments that makes up 35% of the Worx's total score. These include measuring the individual cutting height settings as well as the overall range they cover. The mower's power is also assayed via practical tests in grass heights that range from shaggy to knee-high weeds. Finally, we gauge the efficiency of the cutting deck design. We do this by measuring the cutting width between the front wheels. Unlike the measurement of the cutting deck itself, this measurement accounts for the overlap required to prevent leaving a strip of uncut turf between one cutting pass to the next. Additionally, we measure the cutting gap — the space betwixt the outside edge of the deck and the end of the blade. This measurement is paramount when cutting along awall or the like — the narrower this gap is, the less uncut turf left behind.
Compared to other mowers in the class, the Worx offers one of the broader ranges of cutting heights over seven settings. That's great for covering seasonal variations in preferred grass trimming lengths. The motor powering this machine is also quite capable. Long grass or short, this machine had little trouble knocking it down and mulching it up. As a bonus, this machine's mid-sized cutting deck and narrow cutting gap makes it maneuverable and efficient — which is great for corners and edges.
Making up 25% of the final score of the product, the battery metric is nearly as important as the mowing metric. Our battery evaluation poses two simple questions: how long will the battery power the mower and how long does it take to recharge the battery when it is fully drained. The latter evaluation requires little explanation. One places a fully depleted battery on its charger and times how long it takes to refill the power source. However, runtime is a bit more complicated.
What we want to know when we measure the runtime of a battery-powered machine is how much work can be done given the amount of potential energy stored in the battery cell. While it seems simple enough to go out and mow lawns until the battery of a mower dies, in reality this is impractical considering that some of the mowers in this review can cut tens of thousands of square feet of turf. To solve this problem, we created a mathematical model to do the work for us. While there are simply too many uncontrolled variables in lawn mowing to claim perfect accuracy in our model's predictive capability, the relative differences it illustrates between the mowers are reliable. (Note: the Worx uses two separate batteries. Our estimates are based on runtimes with both cells in use).
The Worx does quite well in both of the runtime and recharge evaluations. This machine will cut an estimated 12,301 sq. ft.on a charge — which is near the top of the class. Complementing this performance is a respectable recharge time of 1 hour, 45 minutes per battery.
As anyone who has operated machinery knows, some machines are much easier to handle than others. Lawn mowers are no different. As such, we developed a series of assessments that look at this aspect of mower performance. The handling metric covers the mower's starting mechanism and bail. More importantly, this metric assesses the maneuverability of the mower. As this aspect of performance makes a significant contribution to the overall performance of the mower, we weight the handling metric to account for 25% of the overall score of the product.
The Worx did not fare so well in the handling metric. The starting mechanism, while perfectly functional, has a relatively long delay between when it is pushed and when the motor kicks on. The Worx also lacks self-propulsion, which, while hurting it in this evaluation, isn't necessarily bad. If you have a flat yard, the lack of self-propulsion isn't a big concern, and it has the added benefit of extending the battery life. Finally, the bail on this model is quite stiff, making it uncomfortable to grip after a time.
Ease of Use
The ease of use metric is where the Worx really shines. Making up just 15% of the overall score, this assessment focuses on the features of a mower that make the user experience more enjoyable, or at least, feel less like work. Specifically, we look at the handle folding mechanism, the battery life indicator, the battery release mechanism, and the noise level as experienced by the user.
The handle folding system on the Worx sets the standard in the class. Our high opinion of this aspect of this model's design is based on the simplicity of the system. Where other machines have knobs and require adjustments of separate components to collapse, the Worx has two easy-to-squeeze levers that release and collapse the handle. The four-light battery life meter is conveniently located on the handle and is activated with the push of a button. The battery removal is a simple, one-handed operation. Finally, the noise produced by the motor is 72.4 dBAm which is loud enough to make conversation difficult but is on the low end of the class.
The value of a product is determined by comparison to other products in the class that either offer comparable features or a comparable price tag. While the Worx WG774 isn't inexpensive, it performs better than more expensive mowers in the class. As such, we think this mower offers a pretty good value to customers.
The Worx is a great mower for those with low demand lawns or those new to lawn care. It's ease of use feature — most notably its folding mechanism — make it a pleasure to use. Additionally, the long battery life, powerful motor, and a wide range of cutting heights make it reliable in a variety of mowing scenarios. If you're looking for a dependable mower that won't take up much space in your garage, then have a look at the Worx WG774.
— Nick Miley and Austin Palmer